Parenting Vegan Baby Led Weaning

Starting solid foods: Weeks 4 to 6

A baby starting solid foods looks at a bowl of food. There are smaller tiles of mango, pasta, lentil soup, and kidney beans.

During weeks 4 to 6 of our daughter starting solid foods, we all got more confident, and began to feel that her starting solid foods was more a part of our routine. It was a big adjustment for us all to change from exclusive breastfeeding, where all our daughter’s food was served as part of a big warm cuddle, and no preparation or cleaning up was required. This adjustment took time.

Our daughter began to play with the foods that we offered her more, squeezing and bashing and poking them. She made putting the solid foods into her mouth a part of her explorations.

Our daughter seemed to be eating more of the solid foods that we offered her, although this was in part due to the timing of her milk feeds. If she had recently drank a lot of milk, she appeared to be less hungry for the solid foods.

We also did some reading, and were keen to incorporate healthy fats and proteins into our daughter’s diet as often as possible. This was to maximise the nutrition available to her.

This post summarises the kinds of foods she ate in weeks 4 to 6 of starting solid foods.


Porridge

Porridge is a classic food for starting solid foods, and also happens to be a food we eat a lot in our house.

We wanted to offer our daughter a variety of grains, with a fruit, and fats and protein sources. Getting a number of these food groups in at breakfast felt like a great start to the day.

Our daughter ate porridge using preloaded spoons and her hands.

During weeks 4 to 6 of starting solid foods, she ate:

  • Classic porridge (oats, soya milk)
  • Banana porridge (banana, oats, soya milk)
  • Peanut butter banana porridge (peanut butter, banana, oats, soya milk)
  • Peanut butter banana cinnamon porridge (peanut butter, cinnamon, banana, oats, soya milk)
  • Barley and banana porridge (banana, barley flakes, soya milk)
  • Tahini date porridge (tahini, date, oats, soya milk)
  • Tahini banana porridge (tahini, banana, oats, soya milk)

We chose to ignore Solid Starts’ advice around dates, which suggests that babies don’t eat them until they are 18 months old due to the sugar content. This was because the quantity of dates our daughter was eating was small, and the dates were cooked into the porridge. There was therefore no more sugar overall in the food she was eating than there would be with any fruit in cereal.


Carbohydrates

We wanted to introduce our daughter to a range of carbohydrates, and was keen to offer her a small amount of wheat as part of her starting solid foods, as this is an allergen.

During weeks 4 to 6 of starting solid foods, she ate:

  • Rice cake
  • Wholemeal fusilli
  • Wholemeal roll
  • Jacket potato
  • Toast

Our daughter did not have any reaction to wheat, and therefore we plan to offer her slightly more of it in the future.


Soup

Our daughter enjoyed soup previously, and enjoyed eating the same meal as us. Her soup was identical to the soup we ate, but was removed from the pot before we added salt or stock.

She ate the soups largely using her hands, with spoonfuls served directly onto her high chair tray.

We ate each soup for several meals. During weeks 4 to 6 of starting solid foods, she ate:

  • Basic / everyday lentil soup (onion, carrot, lentils, bay leaf). Lentil soup was included to maximise the iron available to her.
  • Carrot & cashew nut soup

Dinners

Our daughter ate with us for some evening meals during this period, depending on how much she’d eaten that day, and whether she was awake when we were eating.

It really amused me to make a salt-free small version of our dinners for our daughter. Again, her food was identical to the food we ate, but was removed before we added salt or stock. She really enjoyed being at the table and a part of the meal.

During weeks 4 to 6 of starting solid foods, she ate:

  • Cauliflower cheese (white sauce made with oat milk, cashews, mustard and black pepper; and cauliflower – recipe from my easy wholemeal cauliflower cheese pasta recipe)
  • Rice cake and tahini and lentil pate (pate made with red lentils, onion, tahini, lemon juice, paprika and olive oil)
  • Mashed potato and Mediterranean vegetable ratatouille (ratatouille made with rapeseed oil, lentils, aubergine, courgette, carrot, tomato, and onion)
  • Banana on toast
  • Kidney beans

Vegetables & fruit

Additional vegetables and fruits our daughter tried during this period were largely those that we were eating for dinner, or were components of something that we were eating for dinner. These were largely therefore prepared how we were eating them.

During weeks 4 to 6 of starting solid foods, she ate:

  • Roasted pumpkin
  • Satsuma
  • Steamed butternut squash
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Grapefruit
  • Spinach
  • Banana stick
  • Mango
  • Lettuce ribs
  • Avocado
  • Pear

Fruit & yoghurt mixes

We were keen to offer our daughter yoghurt, as this is a non-dairy calcium source. We used Alpro Plain No Sugars.

  • Yoghurt, chia, almond, and apple and banana
  • Yoghurt, apple, chia, raisin, and almond
  • Coconut yoghurt

Interested in knowing more about the approach we are taking to starting solid foods with our daughter? There’s more information about our approach in my previous posts:


I’d love to hear about you, in the comments or on @wholemealmum or #wholemealmum.

How did you/ are you offering your baby solid food?


wholemealmum

Mother of a baby girl, born in July 2021. Finding my way with it all. Recipes, parenting, and walking.

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